Everybody needs resistance!

As a fitness professional trying to grow his business, I always encounter pretty much the same objections, some of these objections,Speth-WorldMasters however, seems to keep coming back more than others and they make absolutely no sense whatsoever. The goal of this article is to address in the most scientific and clear manner these objections that seem so deeply rooted in the untrained population.



Before I go any further I have to explain a clear distinction between two words that I will use extensively in this article: Exercising and Training. Even though these two might seem quite similar, they really are not. Exercising is basically a form of dynamic, random, somewhat athletic activity that may results in caloric expenditure and elevated heart rate (walking the dog, cycling with the family on Sundays, swimming whenever the weather is nice enough, etc…). Training is something that is planned, thought out, regular and specifically aimed at progressing in a particular modality of exercise.

Training might seem reserved or limited to athletes, this is a total misconception, any goal in life cannot be reached without an amount of training, you have to do something over and over, while slowly increasing the difficulty in order to “get better” at something or in order to achieve a “goal”. In the realm of health and fitness, your goal doesn’t have to be an Olympic medal, it might simply be loosing a few pounds, gaining muscle, getting rid of that nasty lower back pain, not being out of breath after walking up a flight of stairs, etc… Exercising might induce, with a lot of luck and on an extended and unpredictable time frame some of these benefits but it usually does not.

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Les bénéfices de l’activité physique sur le cerveau et les fonctions cognitives

brain health simpson's English version here

Il nous est constamment rappelé à qu’elle point l’exercice physique influence positivement notre physiologie et notre esthétique, et à quel point il est important de rester actif physiquement tout au long de notre vie pour vieillir le mieux possible. Et bien que ces considérations aient une réelle valeur, je pense qu’elles sont un peu limitées.

En effet, grâce au progrès constant de la science, nous réalisons de plus en plus que notre corps est un système intégral, et qu’aucune action ou influence imposée sur notre corps (comprenez « corps » comme un organisme entier, pas juste comme une enveloppe mécanique de chair et d’os) qu’elle soit interne ou externe ne peut être observée d’un point de vue isolé et restreint, et que pour qu’une réaction à un stimulus précis se passe, le mécanisme humain en entier est mis en mouvement d’une manière holistique.

Laissez-moi illustrer ceci avec un exemple directement lié au sport et à la santé :

Si Jean veut de plus gros biceps (athlètes et enthousiastes de sports d’endurance, soyez indulgents et continuez de lire, cela vous concerne aussi) il va se rendre à la salle de musculation, et suivre un programme qui va se concentrer sur la stimulation des biceps et devrait logiquement obtenir des gros bras. Mais la réalité de se qui se passe ne se limite pas au biceps brachial de Jean. Une multitude de réactions hormonales, nerveuses et musculaires, conscientes et inconscientes devront se passer pour que les biceps puissent être stimulés et plus tard, si l’environnement anabolique requis est présent, croître.

Cette introduction est un peu longuette, mais à mon avis nécessaire : peu importe notre but ou notre spécialité dans la vie, même si ceux-ci sont de nature plus intellectuelle, l’on devrait TOUJOURS considérer notre corps comme un système complexe et interdépendant et comment cela affecte nos performances quotidiennes.

Pour supporter ce point essentiel et fournir de la substance à mes allégations, je vais vous parler d’un fait qui vous est peut-être inconnu : l’activité physique peut améliore les fonctions cognitives, l’orientation et l’état émotionnel général d’un individu. Continue reading

The benefits of physical activity on brain health and cognitive functions

brain health simpson'sVersion française ici

We are constantly reminded of how exercise affects positively our physiology as well as our esthetics, and how important it is to stay physically active throughout life to age well. And although these considerations have real value, I think it is a bit limited.

Indeed, we are now starting to realize, thank to a constant progress of science, that our body is an integrated system, and that no action, or influence imposed on our body (understand  « body » as a whole, not just the bony/fleshy mechanical envelope) wether external or internal, can be looked at from a restricted and limited point of view, and that for an actual response to a given stimulus to occur, the entire human mechanism is put in motion in a holistic way.

Let me illustrate this with an example related to health and fitness :

If John wants bigger biceps (endurance athletes/enthusiasts please stay with me, this concerns you also, just think of John as a triathlete getting ready for an IronMan run), he is going to go to the gym and engage in a particular routine that will focus on stimulating his biceps, and hopefully, he will end up with bigger guns… But the reality of what is happening isn’t limited to his biceps brachii muscles.  A host of endocrine, nervous, muscular, conscious and unconscious reactions are going to occur to allow for his biceps to be trained and later on, if the adequate anabolic environment is provided, grow.

This was a lengthy introduction but I think this point needed to be made : Whatever your goals or your speciality in life, even if those are more of an intellectual nature, you should ALWAYS look at your body as an intricate, interrelated system and how this relates to your daily performances.

To illustrate this essential fact, and to give substance to my allegations, I am going to introduce you to a fact that might be new to you : Physical activity has the potential to increase cognitive functions, orientation and improve overall emotional state. Continue reading